70% of all Americans go to the movies at least once every year – but exactly who makes up this audience? Jim Tricarico, the chief revenue officer of Screenvision, which runs adds in thousands of movie houses, said the average age of customers in his theaters is 30.5 years — compared to the mid-50s for broadcast TV. Now, Young Adults have become the rising demographic amongst moviegoers.
In regards to race and ethnicity, African American moviegoers have skyrocketed in numbers compared to any other group. According to the MPAA, there was a 13% increase in African American cinema viewers compared to 2012. Last year, more than 170 million African-Americans went to the movies compared to roughly 150 million in 2012, according to the Hollywood Reporter. This can be lent to a few notes: in 2013, African American films became a notable trend within box office releases, such as 12 Years A Slave, Black Nativity, Fruitvale Station, Mandela: A Long Walk To Freedom, and Lee Daniels’ The Butler.
Bladimiar Norman, an executive at The Weinstein Company – the studio responsible for Fruitvale Station, Lee Daniels’ The Butler, and Mandela: A Long Walk To Freedom – pushed these films further outside of theater walls. Working with the fast growing social media network LinkedIn, Bladimiar Norman and the Weinstein Company initiated an outreach to moviegoers with the first ever career social media campaign in Hollywood.
LinkedIn held a contest for the movie, called Path to Success, which will offered three professionals a chance to scope out New York City and receive access to a recruiter, executive and career coach. ”The Weinstein Company is committed to executing innovative and efficient tactics to market our films, and teaming with LinkedIn to highlight the inspiring story in Lee Daniels’ The Butler was a perfect fit,” said Norman in a recent interview.
REEL Facts: A Movie Goer Consumption Study revealed the top five key characteristics of an African American movie goer. One of these characteristics is,
African Americans are digitally inclined and consume heavy amounts of all types of media: 67% own desktop/laptop computers; 62% are heavy online users accessing (11+ hours weekly); 64% are gaming/music video enthusiasts and 37% are heavy TV/DVR viewers.
Will this trend continue for Hollywood’s audience? Although African Americans have had the largest jump in numbers from 2012 to 2013, Hispanics went to the movies in 2013 way more often than other ethnic groups in the U.S. relative to their population. Overall, the steadily growing audience of Hispanic moviegoers and young adults seem to be the continuing trend for 2014!